Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gymnast Josh Dixon on Life After Coming Out and Being a Mentor For Other Gay Men

Written by Shane Smith, Editor, Stonewall Gazette

The sports magazine, COMPETE, did an interview with gymnast, Josh Dixon. The openly gay athlete was busy training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Dixon shares that he's very glad he came out as a gay men in 2012 and tries to help other men who are struggling with their sexual orientation.

Compete: When we spoke in 2012 you had just come out as gay. And happily, you reported that your experiences with others were very positive. Back then you said you needed to own who you were as a person in order to grow and mature. Are you still happy with your decision to be an openly gay athlete?

Josh Dixon: Yes, absolutely I’m happy I came out! I realized that as a U. S. national team member I was now a public figure, that I had a responsibility to act as a role model for others. While I would rather just be known as an athlete, I feel an obligation to speak up as a gay man, as a gay athlete to help others who may be struggling with their sexuality. 
It’s important for them to hear someone who’s gay say it’s OK to be yourself; you don’t need to apologize for being who you are. And I’m honored that last month HRC Colorado invited me to speak at their 25th Anniversary Mile High Gala where they presented me with their Visibility Award. 
Compete: I remember your family’s emphasis on living a balanced life. What else interests you beside gymnastics, the Olympics and your future career?

Josh Dixon: I love tennis and I also like soccer and baseball. I want to make an impact in sports and in other facets of my life. I’m inspired by what others have done and I want to do that for those coming along behind me. Kind words of support reach further than we realize.

Compete: What about your personal life – can you even have one right now?

Josh Dixon: While it’s not the daily routine of “eat, sleep, train and do homework” of my college years, I still need time to train and recover. It has to be a balance that compliments my life goals.  

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